Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – Surprise! Surprise! – September 18, 2019 – Day 18

How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life. - Marcus Aurelius

Yes, indeed! Today was a terrific day and it presented a real surprise. My expectations were different than the end result. It started with getting up a bit earlier than usual this morning, getting ready and driving to the Winchester Oncology Center. Yes, over the mountains and through the valleys. My buddy, Dave, drove the round trip once again. This time there were three passengers, me, Carolyn and Dave handling the driving chore.

We arrived early for my second chemotherapy treatment. I received smiles and handed out smiles to everyone I encountered. It took only a few minutes before they called my name and ushered me into the large treatment room. It was quite full, I may have been placed in the last treatment chair available. By the way, the treatment chairs are extremely comfortable. I didn't have a great view today, but I was surrounded by a wonderful, uplifting, positive and inspiring 84-year-old woman from another small town in West Virginia. Her name was Barbara. She was a delight and quickly engaged Dave, Carolyn and me in conversation that continually erupted into laughter.

On the other side was Jerry, a younger man, I believe he said he was approaching 48. I missed his wife's name, but they were a cute couple. Both of them were RN's. Jerry had been a police officer and a correctional officer before he became an RN five years ago. It turns out that Jerry and his wife were both fellow New Jersey natives. He told me his story about his throat cancer and I told him my story. They both were uplifting, positive and inspiring. We enjoyed our time conversing and talked about some philosophical things as well as enjoyed smiling and laughing together.

Meanwhile, my smiling and laughing nurse, Suzie prepped me and then administered the various IV concoctions that were going to help me endure the treatment along with the chemo medicine especially mixed for me. Many people (including me, until now) refer to these powerful and highly toxic drug concoctions as poison. I've changed my attitude. I now see those bags with the yellow labels as the miracle that is going to keep me on my 46-year life plan. Suzie had numerous patients to attend, but she stayed at the top of her game with all of us – and did it with smiles, laughter and precision. Another angel of the medical profession.

I completed my chemotherapy in approximately 3 ½ hours and Suzie disconnected everything from it that had been installed in my chest to mainline the drugs directly into my bloodstream. I was completed. Barbara had left probably an hour and a half earlier. Jerry and his wife left, perhaps 15 or 20 minutes earlier. Dave and Carolyn had left for a little while and had just returned. And, I was released to head to my next appointment with the radiology doctor across the lobby.

Surprise! Surprise!

Here is the surprise I wasn't expecting. I believed I was going to have an appointment with the radiology doctor, Dr. Flax, to determine my radiology schedule of treatments. When I was called, a therapist met me, showed me a special card with a bar code on it that I was going to receive when I left my appointment. I would simply arrive for each radiology treatment, scan that card in a special scanner located by the radiology dept. door, enter and have a seat. Wow! I was impressed with the efficiency.

We went in and then came the SURPRISE! I was about to have the first of 28 scheduled radiology treatments right then and there. WOW and Double WOW! Not my expectation.

The session went quickly and well. So far, no interactions or side effects. But, this is only #1 of 28. So, while I'd love it if they all go like this, I'm not naive enough to believe that will be the long-term reality.

Carolyn will drive me down and back tomorrow and Friday for the next, two treatments. Then I'll be in West Virginia for the weekend. Monday she'll drive me down for the first of five weeks of Monday – Friday treatments. But, I'll stay at my other friend, Judy's, Monday – Thursday night and Carolyn will pick me up on Friday and I'll head back to West Virginia for the weekends.

My Air Force buddy, Dave, drove us back to West Virginia this afternoon after the surprise radiation treatment. It was a very pleasant drive back with little traffic. We stopped at the little coffee shop that opened a year or so ago in this little West Virginia town of Keyser. We had some very good sandwiches for an early dinner – and then we headed to the house. Dave had to get back to his home in Falls Church, Virginia for a somewhat unexpected commitment that came up at the spur of the moment. So, he packed his belongings, put them in the car and left about 5:30 or 6:00 PM for the 2 ½ to 3-hour drive home. For him, this totaled about 6 hours of drive time today. That's real friendship.

As an aside, Dave, doesn't like it when I do this, but I do it anywhere because we are buddies and because he deserves my support and promotion. If you look at the right column on the Web version of each page of my blog, you'll see a logo for Mickey Bo's Rock 'n' Roll Revue – you can click on the logo or you can click on this link and it will take you to, in my humble opinion, as the producer of thousands of hours of audio productions including probably hundreds of hours of radio productions heard around the world, the best Internet 50's & 60's rock and roll radio show you'll find anywhere on the Web.

Mickey Bo is the alter ego of my buddy Dave. He produces the show to emulate the sound of a real 50's & 60's DJ show in his professional radio studio located in his home. He plays the great music of that period and he has a fantastic knowledge of the music and artists of that era including lots of great trivia. The quality is superb (Dave is fastidious about the quality). Each week's show has a theme. You'll even hear tributes to artists when they pass on to a new dimension. Dave aka Mickey Bo, is a 56 year broadcasting professional and this show is his passion. If you've never listened to Mickey Bo's Rock 'n' Roll Revue, I strongly urge you to click on the link and give it a listen. You have nothing to lose and a lot of fun listening nostalgia to gain. Drop him a note about the show and don't forget to tell him where you heard about it.

That's it for today. Live free and be happy. EH

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